The world-famous Ice Hotel is one of Lapland’s most popular attractions and has inspired hundreds of similar ice ventures all over the world. The hotel is built entirely from ice cut from the River Torne, which freezes over every winter. Construction usually starts in late November and is complete by early-mid December. Nearby, a moose park is a little-known attraction which is always a favourite with visitors to the region. These two excursions can be combined as one and added to any of our holidays between January and April.
The Ice Hotel is located in Jukkasjarvi, a small Swedish village about a 15-minute drive from Kiruna airport. The hotel covers 5,500 square meters of ground and is built from 1,000 tonnes of ice from the River Torne, and held together with a further 30,000 tonnes of ‘snice’ (a mixture of snow and ice that strengthens the building). Half of the hotel’s rooms are designed by artists from around the world who are specially invited to create an ice masterpiece. Each year, the hotel is a brand new creation and the building is never the same. Aside from the hotel rooms, there is also an ice bar serving a variety of drinks in the main building, and a chapel (seating over 100 people) where weddings sometimes take place. From around mid-April the hotel starts to melt and returns to the river which runs alongside it.
The moose park is a little-known attraction in Lapland and few visitors come across it on their own. Located about a 25-minute drive from the Ice Hotel, the park is situated amid the wilderness surrounds of Lapland. The moose are mighty beasts, but friendly and enjoy coming up and close to people (particularly if you have a banana to spare!) The tour of the moose park also includes a talk and entertaining presentation from the park keeper, not just about the moose, but also about the other wildlife in the area.
Together, the moose park and the Ice Hotel excursion last around half a day and are best done together because of their proximity to each other. Refreshments are available at the moose park and there is time for lunch after looking around the Ice Hotel.
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